It's the small things . I was in Crediton this morning at my local chemist and saw this packet of spray bottles, supposed to be used for travel toiletries, but invaluable to me as a watercolourist.

They can lose their sprayability ( made up word) over time, so I was just in need of these and there they were.

Saturday here in Devon was glorious bright sunshine, and so me and my hubby headed for Dartmoor, Belstone in fact, just over ten miles away and were blessed with these amazing views.


This Spring seems to have been even better than usual, the daffodils and snowdrops have lasted longer than ever.

As we move through the days , everything seems to be waking up. I made the mistake today of looking outside and seeing the sunshine, so I set off merrily on my walk, without a coat , but ( as my mum would say) there was 'a nasty cold wind' which probably kept me walking just a little faster than usual. So no real harm done. 

However I could still look into the hedgerows and see the small unsung heroes making their debuts . The small ferns beginning to unfurl

the blackthorn flowers really putting on a show , for those who would watch.

Here in Devon we are blessed with an abundance of wild primroses and their delicate colour is always a joy to see.

 And now it is the time for magnolia to put on it's show.



 I couldn't help but be so impressed by the magnolia blooms that I thought I'd show you my painting 

First I drew a flower, paying attention to where the petals are and began adding colour.

Alizaren crimson, makes a nice pink, I also added some cerulean blue. The highlights on the petal are the white of the paper, I added the darker pink by using less water and bought some of the colour up to form veins.

Next I moved around the flower, painting each petal individually , maybe adding some darker touches once patches were dry, don't be afraid to go dark. Dark against light adds drama. I made the darkest hue by adding cobalt blue to the crimson.

Then I painted the branch, just yellow ochre and burnt umber.


Now the background, the bit that scares us !!!


If you don't want a background that's fine too.

I painted an under colour of yellow 

then let that dry, while I mixed greens reds and blues, then I sploshed that around, adding the darkest tones near the whitest parts of the flower. 

I also splashed on some clean water to create watermarks.


Then I went in with another layer, going really dark behind the flower. This layering of colour stops the background looking too flat, experiment and have a go. Add warmer colours or cooler colours, but if it looks wrong in your mixing pan , don't add it. It will look wrong on the paper.


There a beautiful magnolia flower, and the frost can't touch this one !


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1 comment

Your magnolia is absolutely beautiful! I loved the details of colors and procedures! The names of the shades are so beautiful! Can’t wait to visit again! Happy Spring!


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